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Old 04-12-2013, 07:38 AM
sclancy's Avatar
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Default Counter top materials

Well I had planned to use flagstone (PA bluestone actually) for the countertops on my outdoor kitchen but the cost is higher than I expected just for the material - over $20psf and this is not even for slabs...but rather using large stock size treads that are up to 24" wide.

And the search feature is not working today for some reason....What are my countertop choices if any that will come in below $20psf other than tile?? Bluestone is not ideal for a number of choices but I planned to use it due to cost and the fact that it matches what is used around the house already...Now that it is turning out to cost more than I planned, I need to look around.

I really am not interested in pouring concrete counters myself and I am pretty sure that the cost will go well over $20psf by the time I have someone grind,polish and seal them...

Any pics of tile installs would be greatly appreciated....maybe I do large granite tiles with very small/no grout lines??
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

There are not too many counter choices that are going to be <$20/square foot (and I assume you mean $40/linear for 2 foot depth?).

I used a $20 HF grinder and $40 worth of polishing disks purchased off ebay to do my concrete counters. Finished cost with forms, countertop mix, pigment, and high-tech mesh grid was <$400 for 12 feet of countertop + 5 feet of oven landing. Cost of sealers is really nominal and any material you use outside short of a resin based material will need to be sealed. It can be done pretty cheaply, but there is a lot of labor involved.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

Granite tile isn't going to be any cheaper either...and large format tile isn't the thing to install unless you know what you are doing....much, much more difficult to install and not have lippage and layout issues. Any natural stone isn't going to be cheap unless you can do it for material cost....especially if it is done correctly.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

I know that I dont want to put the labor in personally to doing concrete.....I know what is involved and paying my mason to do is not going to save me $$ over bluestone.

I am just going to suck it up I guess and do large pieces of bluestone grouted in. I will only have a few joints on each counter and it will match the bluestone caps on my house....it just kind of bugs me that I will have countertops that will stain and be hard to clean and still spending north of $1k to do them....
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

I totally understand that. It's funny, when I was deciding on my countertops - I had a free slab of granite offered to me, and the thing that kept me from using it was the cost of cutting/installation (I was quoted >$1000 by several installers) because I didn't want to do the labor on that!

I think the most important thing is to get the look you want. It sounds like bluestone is what you're looking for.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclancy View Post
I know that I dont want to put the labor in personally to doing concrete.....I know what is involved and paying my mason to do is not going to save me $$ over bluestone.

I am just going to suck it up I guess and do large pieces of bluestone grouted in. I will only have a few joints on each counter and it will match the bluestone caps on my house....it just kind of bugs me that I will have countertops that will stain and be hard to clean and still spending north of $1k to do them....
Almost all natural stone will stain or etch (citric acid will on granite) one exception is soapstone.

Look into a good quality sealer for natural stone, and then apply a food safe, sacrificial sealer on top of that...like butchers wax. Remember that sealer is there to give you time to remove the stain by slowing down the penetration of the liquid or oil. Surface sealers that look like lacquer will yellow from UV over time and I would never recommend that to any of my clients.

Just remember that cheap is twice as expensive in the long run.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

All great points.....I have soapstone in my kitchen and love it BUT that was about $60psf installed.....

I m not sure how 12x12 granite tile would look....I have never liked it in kitchens as compared to slabs but I m wondering if it would be ok outside...

the bluestone will cap my counters perfectly and give me the look I want to match the house though....no sense trying to save a few hundrd $ at this point....
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Counter top materials-img_0712.jpg   Counter top materials-img_1105.jpg  
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

We did counters out of Travertine pavers once. We used a thicker paver (2.25")for edges and filled in with standard thickness pavers(1.25")

Counter top materials-d-sink.jpg


You could do the same thing with bluestone. But I would suggest doing the edges with thermaled tread stock (usually blue select) then fill in behind it with standard flagging.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

Nice on the pavers. Looks good.

I dont think I will save enough to go through the hassle of treads on the edges and then cheaper pieces in the center. I have a total of 50sqft +/-. I m priced out for 20-24" wide thermaled treads in 1.5" thickness. the pieces are big/heavy enough that I can mortar them directly to the metal studs without any underlayment/support. I really appreciate the feedback and suggestions!!

Last edited by sclancy; 04-12-2013 at 09:44 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Counter top materials

For a number of reasons, I abandoned the bluestone idea. Too porous/stains, grout lines, hard to clean, cant make pizzas directly on it....and given the negatives it was not saving me enough money...

However $30-40psf for granite was not happening. After dozens of emails and trolling craiglist and online, I found a guy willing to fabricate for me with no install at a price I could live with.....so I pulled the trigger on 62sqft of black pearl granite. $22sqft no install. I will handle install myself. Just a few joints to epoxy. Pieces will be ready next week. He is even going to give me a wood A frame to get the pieces home in the pick up.

Granite on the island will be ideal for pizza making - it is bar height (42") and at 8+' long will be perfect for having a few folks constructing pizzas and having me slide right under them with my italian perforated peel.

So, thoughts on construction adhesive vs. silicone to attach the granite to the tops of the metal studs? IM thinking silicone will be fine. The 36" wide island has a 6" overhang with 30" sitting on the metal studs (so I m not worried about the cantilevered weight)

I plan to use type S mortar for the hearth piece mounted on the concrete slab unless someone chimes in with a different suggestion.
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